cover image Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump

Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump

Sarah Posner. Random House, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-984820-42-6

Posner (God’s Profits), reporting fellow at Type Investigations, reveals in this trenchant study the modern white religious right as a group anxious about losing power in a changing country and determined to rebuild America with white Christians at its center. To many observers, Posner writes, white evangelicals’ support for Donald Trump is mysterious: after decades of championing moral values in politics, why would they back a liar and adulterer with no history of religious observance? Her answer is straightforward: evangelicals overlooked his less savory characteristics because he was committed to white Christian nationalism. This broader historical view posits that Trump is not an aberration but a fulfillment of 40 years of organized political strategy, and that many of his actions while in office—admiring foreign dictators, promoting views based in far-right extremism—are mirrored in the history of the American religious right. While Posner can get bogged down in the details, as in her meticulous debunking of the notion that Christian nationalism arose in opposition to abortion, overall she is convincing. Posner’s authoritative investigation will be a must-read for those interested in the connections between the Trump presidency and evangelicalism. (May)